Gnats. These tiny yet harmless insects are a common pest nuisance inside the home, especially during the summer when the weather is warm and conditions are ideal for their survival. While there may not be a way to avoid them completely, here is how to treat the problem once these uninvited guests have set up camp in your home.
Gnats are commonly found in houseplants and are attracted to ripe fruit and vegetables in your kitchen. In fact, they are in the same family as fruit flies. To keep pesky gnats at bay, follow these simple guidelines.
Houseplants that are infested with indoor gnats need to be taken outside. Once outside, take off the top layer of soil and replace with new soil. Gnats breed in the soil, so once you remove the old topsoil, you are effectively eliminating the eggs that will otherwise become more hungry little gnats. Be sure not to over-water your houseplants, unintentionally creating the conditions in which gnats love to breed.
To kill the indoor gnats that have taken a liking to hanging around your kitchen, there are several things you can do. First, place any fruit and vegetables inside your refrigerator and do not leave food on your counters. Food, especially fruit and vegetables that are left out in the open are like a big, flashing welcome mat for gnats. Simply put, gnats need food to survive and if you take it away, they will die.
Be sure to store your trash in a sealable container or within a cabinet. If gnats can easily access the food located in your trash, they will continue to feed and thus stay happily satisfied in your home. Take the trash out regularly to keep the old food out of your home and away from tempting hungry gnats.
To trap and kill persistent gnats that are still indoors, fill a bowl with vinegar. Gnats love the smell of vinegar and are attracted to it. Seal plastic wrap over the bowl and poke a few holes into the wrap, to create a trap for the gnats. They will find their way into the vinegar but not be able to get out and will soon die. Refill the bowl with new vinegar as needed.
Ammonia can be effective for keeping gnats away from the drain in your kitchen sink where rotting food is likely to be. Pour a little down the drain and do not use your sink for a few hours so the scent is not washed away.
Hardware and garden stores sell sprays that are specifically formulated to kill indoor gnats. Because these sprays contain pesticides, be extra cautious where you spray them and avoid spraying them in areas where food is served or consumed.